Best Bollywood Movies On Women

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08 Sep 2023
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Bollywood, the vibrant heart of the Indian film industry, has a rich history of producing captivating and influential movies. Among the vast array of cinematic creations, there exists a unique category of films that shine a spotlight on women, portraying their strength, resilience, and multifaceted lives.

These films delve deep into the diverse experiences of women, celebrating their courage and determination. In this article, we embark on a cinematic journey through some of the best Bollywood movies that place women at the center of their narratives.

We will explore the themes, remarkable cast members, and release years of these empowering and inspirational films. From tales of maternal strength to stories of courage in the face of adversity, these movies offer a poignant celebration of womanhood in all its glory.

So, let's dive into the world of Bollywood and discover the top films that pay homage to the essence of women and the extraordinary stories they bring to the silver screen.

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Bollywood, the heart of the Indian film industry, has produced a plethora of remarkable movies over the years, many of which celebrate and empower women. These films delve deep into various aspects of women's lives, portraying their strength, resilience, and diverse experiences. In this article, we'll explore some of the best Bollywood movies that center around women, highlighting their themes, notable cast members, and release years.

Discover the top Bollywood movies that put women in the spotlight, showcasing their stories, struggles, and triumphs. From inspirational tales of courage to poignant narratives of resilience, these films celebrate the essence of womanhood.

Best Bollywood Movies on Women:

1. "Mother India" (1957)

  • Directed by: Mehboob Khan

  • Theme: Rural resilience and maternal strength

  • Main Cast: Nargis, Sunil Dutt, and Rajendra Kumar

Mother India is a 1957 Indian Hindi-language epic drama film directed by Mehboob Khan and produced by his production company, Mehboob Productions. The film stars Nargis, Sunil Dutt, and Rajendra Kumar. The story revolves around Radha, a rural Indian woman who struggles to raise her family after her husband is killed in the war. She faces many challenges, including poverty, drought, and social injustice. However, she never gives up and eventually triumphs over all odds.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning three Filmfare Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Nargis. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Challenges that Radha faces in the film:

  • Poverty: Radha's family is very poor. They live in a small village and struggle to make ends meet.

  • Drought: The village is hit by a drought, which makes it even harder for Radha to provide for her family.

  • Social injustice: Radha is often discriminated against because she is a woman. She is not allowed to own land or make her own decisions.

Despite all of these challenges, Radha never gives up. She is a strong and resilient woman who is determined to provide for her family and protect her children.

Here are some of the awards that the film won:

  • 3 Filmfare Awards: Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress (Nargis)

  • Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival

  • Nomination for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

Mother India is a classic film that has been praised for its powerful message of hope and resilience. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Indian cinema or the stories of strong women.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film was shot in the village of Mehboobnagar, which was specially built for the film.

  • The drought scenes were filmed during a real drought, which made the experience even more challenging for the cast and crew.

  • Nargis's performance in the film is considered one of the greatest in Indian cinema history.

  • The film was a huge box office success, grossing over ₹10 crore (US$1.2 million) at the time.

Mother India is a timeless classic that continues to inspire audiences around the world. It is a powerful story of a woman's strength and resilience, and it is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, anything is possible.

2. "Mrityudand" (1997)

  • Directed by: Prakash Jha

  • Theme: Social issues and women's empowerment

  • Main Cast: Madhuri Dixit, Shabana Azmi, and Ayub Khan

Mrityudand (English: Death Sentence) is a 1997 Indian Hindi-language drama film directed by Prakash Jha and produced by Bobby Bedi. The film stars Madhuri Dixit, Shabana Azmi, Ayub Khan, and Raj Babbar. The story revolves around a young woman, Santoshi (Madhuri Dixit), who is raped and murdered by a group of men. Her mother, Durga (Shabana Azmi), seeks justice for her daughter's death, but she is met with resistance from the patriarchal society.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues. It was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

Issues that the film addresses:

  • Gender discrimination: The film explores the ways in which women are discriminated against in Indian society. They are often seen as second-class citizens and are not given the same rights as men.

  • Rape: The film deals with the issue of rape in a sensitive and realistic way. It shows the physical and emotional trauma that rape victims suffer.

  • Women's empowerment: The film is ultimately a story of women's empowerment. It shows how women can overcome adversity and fight for their rights.

Awards that the film won:

  • National Film Award for Best Film on Social Issues

  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress (Shabana Azmi)

  • Zee Cine Award for Best Actress (Madhuri Dixit)

  • Screen Award for Best Actress (Madhuri Dixit)

Mrityudand is a powerful and thought-provoking film that raises important questions about gender discrimination and women's empowerment. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Indian cinema or the fight for social justice.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film was based on a real-life incident that took place in the 1970s.

  • The film was shot in the village of Devgarh, Rajasthan.

  • The film was banned in several states in India due to its sensitive subject matter.

  • The film was eventually released after the Supreme Court of India intervened.

Mrityudand is a challenging film to watch, but it is an important film that everyone should see. It is a reminder of the challenges that women face in Indian society and the importance of fighting for their rights.

3. "Queen" (2014)

  • Directed by: Vikas Bahl

  • Theme: Empowerment and self-discovery

  • Main Cast: Kangana Ranaut

Queen is a 2014 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Vikas Bahl and produced by Phantom Films. The film stars Kangana Ranaut as Rani Mathur, a small-town girl who goes on a solo honeymoon to Europe after her fiancé calls off their wedding. The film also stars Lisa Haydon, Rajkummar Rao, and Chunky Pandey.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards, including the National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment, the Filmfare Award for Best Film, and the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Kangana Ranaut. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Challenges that Rani faces in the film:

  • Traveling alone to a foreign country for the first time

  • Dealing with the heartbreak of her broken engagement

  • Learning to stand up for herself and her independence

Awards that the film won:

  • National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment

  • Filmfare Award for Best Film

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Kangana Ranaut)

  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress (Lisa Haydon)

  • Screen Award for Best Film

  • Screen Award for Best Actress (Kangana Ranaut)

Queen is a heartwarming and inspiring film that celebrates the power of self-discovery. It is a must-watch for anyone who has ever felt lost or alone.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film was shot in several European countries, including Paris, Amsterdam, and Rome.

  • The film was inspired by the real-life experiences of Vikas Bahl's sister.

  • Kangana Ranaut had to learn to speak French for the film.

  • The film was a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹100 crore (US$13 million) at the box office.

Queen is a film that has touched the hearts of audiences around the world. It is a reminder that it is never too late to find yourself and that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

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4. "Kahaani" (2012)

  • Directed by: Sujoy Ghosh

  • Theme: Th riller and mystery

  • Main Cast: Vidya Balan

Kahaani is a 2012 Indian Hindi-language thriller film directed by Sujoy Ghosh and produced by Sujoy Ghosh and Jayantilal Gada. The film stars Vidya Balan as Vidya Bagchi, a pregnant woman who travels to Kolkata from London to find her missing husband. The film also stars Parambrata Chatterjee, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, and Saswata Chatterjee.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Vidya Balan, the Filmfare Award for Best Director for Sujoy Ghosh, and the National Film Award for Best Screenplay. It was also nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Film.

Challenges that Vidya faces in the film:

  • Traveling to a foreign country alone while pregnant

  • Dealing with the fear and uncertainty of her husband's disappearance

  • Uncovering the truth about her husband's past

Awards that the film won:

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Vidya Balan)

  • Filmfare Award for Best Director (Sujoy Ghosh)

  • National Film Award for Best Screenplay

  • Nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Film

Kahaani is a suspenseful and thrilling film that keeps the audience guessing until the very end. It is a must-watch for fans of thrillers and mysteries.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film was shot in Kolkata, India.

  • The film was inspired by the real-life experiences of Sujoy Ghosh's wife.

  • Vidya Balan had to learn to speak Bengali for the film.

  • The film was a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹100 crore (US$13 million) at the box office.

Kahaani is a film that has been praised for its suspenseful narrative, Vidya Balan's stellar performance, and Sujoy Ghosh's direction. It is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

5. "Piku" (2015)

  • Directed by: Shoojit Sircar

  • Theme: Family and relationships

  • Main Cast: Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, and Irrfan Khan

Piku is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language comedy-drama film directed by Shoojit Sircar and produced by Ronnie Screwvala. The film stars Deepika Padukone as Piku Mishra, an architect who is constantly at odds with her aging father, Bhashkor (Amitabh Bachchan). The film also stars Irrfan Khan as Rana Chaudhary, a taxi driver who becomes Piku's unlikely companion on a road trip from Kolkata to Delhi.

The film was a critical and commercial success, winning several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film, the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Amitabh Bachchan), and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor (Irrfan Khan). It was also nominated for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.

Challenges that Piku and Bhashkor face in the film:

  • Piku's father is a demanding and difficult man, and she often feels like she is walking on eggshells around him.

  • Piku is also struggling to find her own place in the world, and she is not sure what she wants to do with her life.

Awards that the film won:

  • Filmfare Award for Best Film

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Amitabh Bachchan)

  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor (Irrfan Khan)

  • National Film Award for Best Feature Film

  • Nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Deepika Padukone)

Piku is a heartwarming and funny film that explores the complexities of family relationships. It is a must-watch for anyone who has ever had to care for an aging parent or who has struggled to find their place in the world.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film was shot in Kolkata, Delhi, and Agra.

  • The film was inspired by the real-life experiences of Shoojit Sircar's father.

  • Amitabh Bachchan had to learn to speak Bengali for the film.

  • The film was a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹150 crore (US$20 million) at the box office.

Piku is a film that has been praised for its heartwarming story, Amitabh Bachchan's performance, and Shoojit Sircar's direction. It is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good comedy-drama.

6. "Raazi" (2018)

  • Directed by: Meghna Gulzar

  • Theme: Espionage and patriotism

  • Main Cast: Alia Bhatt

Raazi is a 2018 Indian Hindi-language spy thriller film directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by Junglee Pictures. The film stars Alia Bhatt as Sehmat Khan, a young Indian woman who is married to a Pakistani military officer to serve as an undercover spy during the 1971 India-Pakistan war. The film also stars Vicky Kaushal, Rajit Kapoor, Shishir Sharma, and Jaideep Ahlawat.

The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over ₹196 crore (US$26 million) at the box office. It won several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film, the Filmfare Award for Best Director for Meghna Gulzar, and the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Alia Bhatt. It was also nominated for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.

Challenges that Sehmat faces in the film:

  • Having to marry a man she does not know and love

  • Living in a foreign country and trying to fit in

  • Keeping her true identity a secret from her husband and his family

  • Carrying out her mission without getting caught

Awards that the film won:

  • Filmfare Award for Best Film

  • Filmfare Award for Best Director (Meghna Gulzar)

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Alia Bhatt)

  • National Film Award for Best Feature Film

  • Nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Vicky Kaushal)

Raazi is a gripping and suspenseful film that tells a powerful story of patriotism and sacrifice. It is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys spy thrillers or films about the India-Pakistan war.

Some additional interesting facts about the film:

  • The film is based on the real-life story of Sehmat Khan, a Kashmiri woman who served as an Indian spy during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

  • The film was shot in India and Pakistan.

  • Alia Bhatt had to learn to speak Urdu for the film.

  • The film was a sleeper hit, grossing over ₹196 crore (US$26 million) at the box office.

Raazi is a film that has been praised for its gripping narrative, Alia Bhatt's performance, and Meghna Gulzar's direction. It is a must-watch for anyone who enjoys a good spy thriller.

7. "Chhapaak" (2020)

  • Directed by: Meghna Gulzar

  • Theme: Courage and acid attack survivors

  • Main Cast: Deepika Padukone

Chhapaak is a 2020 Indian Hindi-language biographical drama film directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by Deepika Padukone, Phantom Films, and RSVP Movies. The film is based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor who fought for justice and became an advocate for the rights of acid attack survivors.

The film stars Deepika Padukone as Malti, a young woman who is attacked with acid by her stalker. The film also stars Vikrant Massey, Prakash Belawadi, and Madhurjeet Sarghi.

The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing over ₹80 crore (US$11 million) at the box office. It won several awards, including the Filmfare Award for Best Film, the Filmfare Award for Best Actress for Deepika Padukone, and the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for Vikrant Massey. It was also nominated for the National Film Award for Best Feature Film.

Challenges that Malti faces in the film:

  • Recovering from the physical and emotional trauma of the acid attack

  • Dealing with the stigma and discrimination of being an acid attack survivor

  • Fighting for justice against her attacker

Despite all of these challenges, Malti is a strong and determined woman who refuses to give up. She is an inspiration to all who know her and her story is a reminder that even in the face of adversity, anything is possible.

Awards that the film won:

  • Filmfare Award for Best Film

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actress (Deepika Padukone)

  • Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor (Vikrant Massey)

  • National Film Award for Best Feature Film

  • Nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Director (Meghna Gulzar)

Chhapaak is a powerful and inspiring film that tells the story of a woman who refused to be a victim. It is a must-watch for anyone who has ever been the victim of violence or discrimination.

Interesting facts about the film:

  • The film is based on the real-life story of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor who fought for justice and became an advocate for the rights of acid attack survivors.

  • Deepika Padukone met with Laxmi Agarwal several times to prepare for the role.

  • The film was shot in Delhi and Mumbai.

  • The film was released on January 10, 2020.

Chhapaak is a film that has been praised for its powerful message of hope and resilience. It is a must-watch for anyone interested in Indian cinema or the stories of strong women.

Conclusion:

In the world of Bollywood cinema, these remarkable movies stand as shining examples of storytelling that empowers and celebrates women. They depict the multifaceted lives, challenges, and triumphs of women, reminding us of their strength, resilience, and unwavering spirit. From the timeless classic "Mother India" to the inspiring "Chhapaak" and the gripping espionage drama of "Raazi," these films encapsulate the diverse stories of women and their journey towards empowerment.

As we explore these exceptional cinematic narratives, we not only appreciate the power of storytelling in Bollywood but also acknowledge the incredible talents of the actresses who brought these characters to life. From Nargis's iconic portrayal of Radha in "Mother India" to Deepika Padukone's transformation into Malti in "Chhapaak," these performances leave an indelible mark on Indian cinema.

In essence, these Bollywood movies on women serve as a testament to the enduring spirit of womanhood and the impact of cinema in conveying their stories to audiences worldwide.

TWN Special